Queen of the Valley Medical Center Remains Open During Strike
(Napa, CA) – Queen of the Valley Medical Center received notice from the National
Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW)—a union representing 470 service
and technical workers—that it plans to conduct a 24-hour strike
beginning at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019.
“It is important for our patients and their families to know that
our doors will remain open. The community can continue to count on us
to provide the high quality, compassionate care they expect and deserve,”
said Larry Coomes, Chief Executive.
The hospital has contracted with an agency to provide highly qualified
and experienced replacement caregivers to ensure uninterrupted patient
care, which is standard industry practice during a strike. The agency
through which these replacement caregivers were hired required a five-day
minimum contractual commitment to secure their services. This means the
replacement caregivers will be working at the hospital for five days,
beginning on the day of the strike. Most caregivers who choose to strike
will return to work Monday, Nov. 25, or on their next regularly scheduled
While some non-emergency services will be limited during the strike, the
Emergency Department will be fully staffed and ready for any patient needs.
The outpatient services that will be unavailable on Nov. 20 are bone density
screening, mammography and outpatient lab services (located at St. Joseph
Health Prompt Care on Imola Avenue and in the 980 Trancas Street building).
The hospital has been meeting with the union since August, 2018, and agreement
has been reached on all issues aside from wages. The hospital has offered
significant wage increases and a generous package of benefits, including
the same Paid Time Off (PTO), retirement and benefit options that NUHW-represented
caregivers in Southern California have accepted in their contract. The
hospital’s proposal offers:
- Up to 7 weeks of PTO a year, based on years of service.
- A retirement program with an employer contribution of up to 9% of an employee’s income.
- A starting hourly wage of $19.08 an hour for most entry-level positions,
and up to $76.40 an hour for our most skilled and experienced lead imaging
- Employees currently making less than our proposed rates would receive an
immediate increase to the new wage scale, for an average increase of 5%.
Thereafter, employees would be eligible for additional increases annually
and as seniority increases.
“We all want the same thing—the competitive pay and benefits
package that will allow us to retain and attract the best talent to serve
Napa. It is our desire to reach an agreement with NUHW on the few remaining
articles so our employees may receive the significant and immediate wage
increases our current offer would provide,” said Coomes.
www.thequeen.org/negotiationnews to read the hospital’s most recent NUHW Bargaining Update.
Please note that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act,
or HIPAA, requires specific security standards for all hospitals. These
Federal security standards set forth protections for all hospital information
to maintain patient privacy. In keeping with these privacy laws, media
are not permitted onto hospital grounds to conduct interviews or film
staff, patients or visitors without proper authorization and an escort.